With smash-and-grabs happening across California, local law enforcement agencies are teaming up to keep people and their property safe during the Christmas holidays. Police are keeping their eyes out to protect businesses, too.
“For those people out there who may be planning any type of mob theft that we have seen (elsewhere in California), we’re not going to tolerate that here, and we will hold you accountable.” — Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama
At a press briefing on Saturday, Dec. 11, at the River Park shopping center, Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama and other law enforcement officials announced the start of Operation Christmas Presence.
“To the members of our community, we ask that you remain vigilant, we’ve been doing this operation for 24 years, and in those 24 years we have been very successful in keeping this community safe,” said Balderrama.
“For those people out there who may be planning any type of mob theft that we have seen (elsewhere in California), we’re not going to tolerate that here, and we will hold you accountable.”
Safety Tips For Holiday Shoppers
Patrol officers, undercover detectives, and volunteers are patrolling shopping areas and parking lots, and sharing safety tips with shoppers.
“Education is first and foremost,” said Fresno Police Lt. Bill Dooley. “With over 900 businesses registered with the Chamber of Commerce, and a whole lot more with the city itself, there is no way that officers can be everywhere at every moment.”
Fresno police recommend that you shop for gifts with a friend or family member and avoid shopping at night. In addition, you should never park in an unlit lot or area — no matter how convenient it is.
Also, lock your packages in your vehicle’s trunk and keep the doors locked and windows closed.
When at home, don’t display gifts where they can be seen from a window or doorway.
Safety Tips and Links
Check here for the Fresno Police Department’s complete list of tips on how to stay safe while shopping.
Check here for the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department’s tips on safety and crime prevention.